tv Starting Point CNN July 19, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT
saying it was god's plan and he wouldn't do anything differently, that could be a problem. he is not cross-examined here. it is his chance in public opinion to make a good impression but it could haunt him later on. >> talk a little bit about one of those things which was the issue of the pursuit. i will play a chunk that far interview with sean hannity. >> maybe i said running more. >> running. >> yes. >> it was like skipping and going away quickly and that he wasn't running out of fear. >> you can tell the difference? >> he wasn't running. >> he wasn't actually running ? >> no, sir. >> that's what you said to the dispatcher is you thought he was running. let me ask you this. at that point we can hear the unbuckling of the seat belt and hear you opening a car door and does dispatch ask you at that point and this became a very key moment everyone in the immediate focused on and the dispatcher asked you are you following him? you said yes. explain that.
>> i meant that i was going in the same direction as him to keep an eye on him so that i could tell the police where he was going. i didn't mean that i was actually pursuing him. >> all right. so, ann, what do you make of that chunk? to me it seems like he is admitting he said running to the dispatcher but he wasn't running. is that problematic in a court? >> absolutely. i said i was running but i really wasn't running, i was just kind of next to him. he needs to say this now because of the stand your graund law. you can't run after somebody and stand your ground and use deadly force. it is also an issue before the jury trial, a judge can decide this issue in florida. it is huge. obviously he talked to his lawyer and he has to be careful about what he says about whether he followed trayvon martin. it is the pivotal issue pretrial and if he gets to trial. >> his attorney says they may not use stand your ground.
they may just use a basic self-defense. here is another chunk with sean hannity and he has before you hear this chunk he has described in great detail about the fight and the wrestle for the gun. >> uh-huh. >> do you remember when you yourself reached for your weapon? do you remember that moment? >> yes, sir. >> how was that? >> at that point i realized that it wasn't my gun, it wasn't his gun, it was the gun. >> i feel like there was some point that he was trying to make, i wasn't sure that i fully understood it. what message was that supposed to be about not my gun but the gun? >> well, exactly. keep in mind in the first court appearance he said he didn't know whether or not trayvon was armed. that was a statement he should never have made. that aside i think he is trying to talk about there could have been a gun there and now he is saying that and it is difficult for him to make inconsistent
statements on the air and in court and then he will have to face them at trial again like i said. i think he is trying to say i had to use deadly force, the gun, basically kind of detaching from himself and maybe attach it to trayvon martin and also to talk about how he feared for his life and he had to use deadly force and i guess it was god's plan. >> right, which is his words. he sort of walked that back a little bit later on in the interview. >> right. >> you said stand your ground and then they talked a little about self-defense or his attorney in that interview as well. what's the difference in terms of how difficult it would be to convict him of manslaughter let's say? >> well, self-defense basically, you have a right to self-defense in this country and it basically means if you're threatened with deadly force or what you perceive as deadly force you can use deadly force and stand your ground is part of that. i would definitely use it if the fact it is warrant because have you no duty to retreat.
if someone is attacking you don't have to run away. you can use the amount of force you need whether in your home, on the street, anywhere else to defend yourself. he basically has to use both. we have it all over this country. it is by statute in florida. it is a strong law that i would use as his lawyer and self-defense only two people know what happened there and one of them didn't live to tell the tale. >> ann bremner is a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. thank you for talking with us. still ahead i will talk to trayvon martin's parents, sybrina full son and tracy martin. first we want to get to the top stories making news. christine romans has that for us. >> one day after a bomber killed his top general, his defense minister and brother-in-law, we still haven't seen or heard from syrian president bashar al-assad. rebel forces continuing their assault on damascus over night vowing to liberate the capital. the u.n. security council votes on a new syria resolution
that threatens non-military sanctions against assad's regime if he doesn't withdraw troops and heavy weapon from populated asias with areas in ten days. russia is expected to block the measure. more than 30 injured on a bus carrying israeli tourists. a short time ago an israeli air force plane picked up injured civilians. bulgarian releasing footage of the bomber before the attack. they have the fingerprints and recovered what the fbi is calling a fake i.d. from the state of michigan. police in philadelphia searching for a predator this morning. take a look at this video of a 10-year-old girl narrowly escaping an attempted abduction. the surveillance video from tuesday afternoon shows a man in a white car following a young girl as she walks down the street with her 2-year-old brother.
the suspect sneaks up on the child and attempts to snatch her but her brother's screams may have scared the attacker off because he suddenly leaves the scene in a car. philadelphia mayor michael nutter is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and joins soledad live in the next half hour. an fbi dive team joining the investigation into the disappearance of two young girls in iowa. 8-year-old elizabeth ol kinz and her cousin lyric cook he were last seen at their grandmother's house last friday. authorities are draining a nearby lake where the bicycles were found and where search dogs picked up their scent. one of the girl's mothers thinks they may have been abducted. a federal judge sighting with muslims in murfreesboro tennessee trying for months to get a permit to use a new mosque. the judge issued a temporary restraining order reversing a county court decision and allowing the congregation to worship at the mosque in time for ramadan.
it begins tomorrow at sun down. construction of the mosque has been a hot button issue for the past two years. >> i know the story well. did a documentary on that not too long ago called unwelcome, the muslims next door about that particular mosque. interesting to follow how that story has ebb and had flowed over the last couple of months. appreciate it. still ahead crops wilting on the ground, farmers praying for rain. how food prices including even pizza could be sky rocketing with most of the nation now suffering through a drought. the agriculture secretary tom vilsack will be our guest up next. they're already in the hall of fame, the get real hall of fame. remember those viral video from that las vegas conference? guess what? there is more news on what the gsa spent your taxpayer money on. we'll share it with you straight ahead.
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millions of capital one credit card holders may be getting refunds. the government is hitting them with a $200 million fine for deceptive marketing tactics. $150 million of that directly to customers. the government says capital one pressured some customers into signing up for extra financial protections like credit monitoring and when people tried to cancel them they pressured them again into keeping them even if they didn't need them. the united states postal service is again warning that the money problems are getting worse. the agency says unless congress acts it will default on a $5 billion retiree health benefit payment. that bill is due on august 1st. money troubles in california, too. the city of compton is reportedly considering filing for bankruptcy. city officials say they only have enough money to pay the bills through september 1st. compton has a $43 million deficit. san bernadino, california, voted yesterday to file for bankruptcy. we're seeing this in municipalities across the country that cannot make ends meet.
>> that is not a surprise. sad news, isn't it? thank you. there is no end in sight for the drought cripple be farmers across the country pushing grain prices to near or past records this week. as we told you yesterday, more than half of the country is in bone dry conditions. the usda adding 39 counties to those designated as drought disasters. that brings the total to nearly 1,300 counties across 29 states. the secretary of agriculture, tom vilsack, joins us this morning. nice to see you. thanks for being with us. you met with president obama yesterday. what was the conversation about and what is your biggest concern where things stand right now? >> soledad, the president is obviously very concerned as we all are for the farm families and ranch families impacted and we want to make sure we're doing everything we can from an administration standpoint to help folks, lower interest rates, grazing opportunities, and our tools are quite limited. we had a conversation about how we could work with congress to provide additional help and
assistance either in the form of a passage of a food, farm and jobs bill by the house or in a special piece of legislation that we create disaster assistance. >> does that seem to be the kind of thing that would have bipartisan support? i certainly don't have to tell you that it feels like a lot of gridlock in congress especially in an election year. >> we have thousands and thousands of families across the country suffering today in 29 states. this is not a republican or democratic issue. this is an american issue. we obviously need to help these folks. this is why we have a safety net. this is why we need passage of a food, farm and jobs bill quickly. it is why we need to help the livestock producers in particular. it would impact in effect obviously over the long haul food prices, not as dramatically as some people would expect because farmers only get 14 cents of every food dollar but it is still going to impact consumers as well. >> the u.s. da puts out a weekly report and this week's is dire, 38% of corn crops rated poor or very poor, 30% of the soybean
crop is rated poor or very poor. that's the week ending july 15th. a moment ago we were talking about legislation which even if it is done quickly you well know would be sort of a long-term solution. what's the short-term plan for people looking at numbers like that? >> the short-term plan is to make sure they do everything they possibly can to notify their insurance agent if they have crop insurance to begin the process, the claim process. if they have had damaged crops they need to make sure they notify their agent so they can do an assessment of the crops. the short-term also is making available emergency loans in those counties designated as secretarial disaster areas and also making sure those livestock operators know they can use opportunities on conservation reserve program land and not be penalized as much as otherwise. it is making sure they're aware of those steps we have taken. we'll continue to look for ways to provide help and assistance but again the key level of assistance is really based on congressional action. >> forecast look like? when will you get rain across the states?
>> well, there is some indication that at least in the upper midwest there may be rain later this week, early next week. that would certainly be welcome. depending upon when crops are planted, that may or may not have an impact on yields. fortunately we had a record amount of acres planted which is going to make it a little easier for us to get through this. we're just going to keep our fingers crossed. we won't know the depth of this drought in terms of its impact on crops until actually the crops are harvested. >> secretary tom vilsack joining us this morning. thank you. appreciate your time this morning. >> thank you. still ahead this morning, i will talk to trayvon martin's parents, sybrina full son and tracy martin joined by their attorney and they'll talk about their reaction to george zimmerman first on camera interview. he said he thought it was all god's plan. "starting point" is back in a moment.
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welcome back to "starting point." george zimmerman telling his side of the story this morning for the cameras for the first time since the night that he shot and killed trayvon martin. he was on fox news last night and zimmerman said that there was nothing that he would do differently that night. listen. >> do you regret getting out of the car to follow trayvon that night? >> no, sir. >> do you regret that you had a gun that night? >> no, sir. >> do you feel you wouldn't be here for this interview if you didn't have that gun? >> no, sir. >> you feel you would not be here? >> i feel that it was all god's plan and for me to second guess it or judge it -- >> is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now that time has passed a little bit?
>> no, sir. >> trayvon martin's parents are sybrina fulton and tracy martin and joined by their attorney ben crump. nice to see all of you. sybrina, i will start with you if i can. i know you had a chance to watch this interview. what did you think of what george zimmerman was saying? >> my first thought was that i wish that trayvon was here to tell his side of the story. we're just hearing one side of what actually happened. >> tracy, what do you think, he walked through numerous descriptions. he walked through obviously his side of the story of the pursuit which he said he was not running after him. he walked through the struggle with the gun. if you could have asked him a question, what do you want to know? what would you have liked him to describe in more detail? >> i just would like to know why did he even get out of the car? why was my son so suspicious? what made him rush to judge my
son and thinking that he was a criminal or pursuing some burglary? >> the pursuit i think is going to be and correct me if i'm wrong, mr. crump, a big focus in this court case because, and sean hannity asked him a detailed question about the pursuing and was he running after trayvon. listen. >> maybe i said running but it was more -- >> you said running. >> yes. like skipping and going away quickly, but he wasn't running out of fear. >> you can tell the difference? >> he wasn't running. >> he wasn't actually running. >> no, sir. >> that's what you said to the dispatcher, you thought he was running. let me ask you this. at that point we can hear the unbuckling of the seat belt and hear you opening the car door and the dispatch asks you at that point and this became a
very key moment that everyone in the media focused on and the dispatcher asked you are you following him and you said yes. explain that. >> i meant that i was going in the same direction as him to keep an eye on him so i could tell the police where he was going. i didn't mean that i was actually pursuing him. >> he said he was running, but says in this interview he wasn't running. he said yes to the dispatcher when he asked about following him and now says he wasn't really following him. when you look at a strategy when this comes to the courtroom and the courthouse, how do you plan on using this chunk of the interview? >> soledad, the state attorney is going to see this interview as a gift when they get ready to cross-examine george zimmerman. we have a saying the evidence speaks for itself. use your own ears.
america can listen to the 911 tapes on their own and they hear him pursuing trayvon and hear the wind whistling and hear them saying he is following trayvon martin. pursuit is so crucial in this case because it kills his stand your ground defense. he proceed filed, confronted and shot trayvon martin in the heart and says he doesn't regret anything. >> and you heard from mark o'mara, the attorney, i think saying a similar thing that you're saying which is, you know, the stand your ground defense mate be something he is not focussing on and will actually probably be self-defense. how do you think that changes this case? >> remember, we believe interviewed george zimmerman one hour and he was looking for street signs because he can't say he pursued trayvon and then say stand your ground. remember, this is so important for america to remember, we
heard that 911 tape. i don't think he realized that we were going to hear that tape or he wouldn't have put that only reason he got out of the car was to check the street sign because we heard him say, oh, he said explicit word, he is getting away and then you hear the wind whistling and that's when he says he has fallen. it speaks for itself. >> the lawyer stepped in as i imagine any would when the questions turned to money and the accounts that george zimmerman had access to. is this going to be a side issue in relatively irrelevant in the trial? >> i think george zimmerman's credibility is at issue and everybody in america like the judge has said his credibility is completely in question and with regards to what mr. martin has said all along, he did not have to get out of that car. if he would have stood down, he wouldn't have the claim stand your ground at all. >> and the clip coming in, i
played you a little bit of what george zimmerman said to sean hannity when he was asked did i regret anything and part of what he said is was god's will. i am curious, sybrina, what that is like to hear? >> i think it is absolutely ridiculous. god did not have a plan for trayvon to die and for george zimmerman to shoot trayvon for no reason. >> there is a question that -- that was a question i guess he took another stab at if you will at the end of the interview and he told sean hannity he wanted to readdress that question. i want to play a little chunk of that. >> i would like to readdress your question when you asked if i would have done anything differently. when you asked that, i thought you were referring to if i would not have talked to the police, if i would have maybe got an attorney, if i wouldn't have taken the cvsa, and that i stand
by. i would not have done anything differently. i do wish that there was something, anything i could have done that wouldn't have put me in the position where i had to take his life. >> so two things i note there. one is and you can read through the transcripts and see they never were talking about talking to the police or getting an attorney so that was not part of the conversation where he says he sort of misunderstood the question. he says anything i could have done that wouldn't have put me in the position where i had to take his life, this to me, ben, sounds like posturing for the trial, yes? >> it does. this as mr. martin has said over and over again, he made a rush to judgment to trayvon as criminal and suspicious and he got out of that car. he put trayvon in the position. trayvon went to his grave not know whog this strange man was
who confronted him, and so he cannot pursue and pick a fight and then say, oh, he put me in this position, and it is going to be very critical. there are so many inconsistencies, soledad, that george zimmerman has told, we don't even have enough time in your show to go through all the inconsistencies. >> tracy, i will sdu the last question if i can. he says that he would be willing to talk to you and to sybrina as well. would you have any interest in that at all? >> absolutely not, not at this time. we're talking about a man who regrets the fact that he took our child's life. my conversation for him would be very limited. >> and crump joining us and sybrina fulton and tracy martin, the parents of trayvon martin and their attorney. i appreciate you joining us this morning. >> thank you. still ahead on "starting point," assassinations now shaking syria.
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welcome back to "starting point." taking the long way. it ain't easy being me, will cain's playlist. >> it is not easy being you. >> will cain is with us and margaret hoover. lots to talk about. we want to get to christine romans with a look at today's top stories. >> good morning. 24 hours after a bomber killed his top general and his defense minister and there is still no sign of syrian president bashar
al-assad. rebel forces continuing their assault on damascus over night. hundreds of civilians are said to be fleeing the city right now. meanwhile, the u.n. security council votes this morning on a new resolution that threatens non-military sanctions against the regime if he doesn't withdraw troops and heavy weapon from populated areas within ten days. russia is expected to once again block that measure. barbara starr live at the piers morgan. barbara, is the end near for assad? >> christine, the pentagon, the obama administration is making the kois that the assad regime is at a decision point. they're calling it fight or flight that either stays and fights or gets out of town. whether assad sees it that way is of course quite a different situation. we asked defense secretary leon panetta his view on the rising violence and what is happen inside syria. not the answer we exactly expected. have a listen. >> can you tell the world what you're doing so the world feels
more reassured that you have an ability to do something about this, the fighting in damascus. >> this is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control. for that reason it is extremely important that the international community working with other countries that have concerns in that area have to bring maximum pressure on assad to do what's right to step down and to allow for that peaceful transition. >> rapidly spinning out of control, christine. when a u.s. defense secretary uses those words certainly the world listens and of course later today the united nations in new york expected to take up yet another resolution on the syrian situation the russians are expected to veto. >> they told wolf blitzer he is concerned about the chemical weapons stock pile. >> he has been speaking out about this. the u.s. is quite worried behind
the scenes. this is one of the major concerns. if the regime basically implodes, if you have mass chaos, mass confusion, what happens to the chemical weapons? already assad has moved some of them behind the scenes. the u.s. intelligence community now really 24/7 looking at that and trying to assess assad's intentions. would he actually use them? he says he hopes not and everybody hopes not but there is no predictability to the situation and everyone is growing increasingly concerned about that very question. >> barbara starr, thanks. in the meantime president obama back on the campaign trail. he will be in jacksonville and west palm beach, florida, kicking off a two-day swing through four cities. mitt romney is in boston for a fundraiser and the latest cbs news and "new york times" poll shows the race for the white house couldn't be tighter. rick santorum in-- romney with %
and 1 in 5 voters saying they could change their mind. romney's money and days at bain capital not a problem for most voters. facebook and the state of washington teaming up. state official as nouns the launch of a facebook app that will allow state residents to register to vote. the application is expected to go live sometime next week making washington the first state to allow voter registration via the social networking site. in our house call black gay males in america the hashdest hit by hiv and aids according to a report from the black aids institute that says in some u.s. cities half of the gay black men are positive. overall the report says they account for 1 in 4 new aids infections in the u.s. a gallup poll finds americans are more concerned about obesity than smoking. 81% describe obesity as an extremely serious or very serious problem in the u.s.
that's you mean from 69% in 2005. the poll suggests obesity concerns far outweigh those about cigarettes and alcohol. supreme court justice sitting down with piers morgan for the first interview since that controversial health care ruling. he asked him about reports he's had a falling out with chief justice roberts because roberts voted in favor of the president's plan. >> you cannot believe what you read about the court in the newspapers because the information has either been made up or given to the newspapers by somebody who is violating a confidence which means that person is not reliable. >> you have had no falling out with justice roberts. >> talk about, no, i haven't had a falling out with justice roberts. >> loud words exchanged, slamming of doors. >> no, no. >> nothing like that? >> nothing like that. >> the supreme court is a very civilized place apparently. >> he went on to say that it was ruth bader ginsburg is his best
buddy even though they don't agree practically on anything. i thought that was interesting. appreciate that. our "starting point" team this morning, margaret hoover is with us, former white house appointee in the bush administration. nice to have you with us. mark hill is professor at columbia university and will cain is a columnist for the blaze.com and are you going to go see the dark knight rises. >> absolutely. >> of course. >> $25 million in presales. >> but not this weekend. i don't think i am going this weekend. >> tonight is the midnight premiere of the darke knight raises, the latest installment of the bat man franchise and it is expected it will shatter box office records. there was a time before the very first movie, remember michael keaton. what year was that? >> 1989. >> 1989. >> i told you. >> i didn't know we had a bat man expert on the set. the idea of a serious big screen adaption of the caped crusader
was somewhat laughable to lots of hollywood executives and michael was laughed out of some of these meetings, i said, when you said and bat man, big screen. >> dark and serious and i was shown the door. >> really? >> they said you're out of your mind. you can't do serious comic book films. you can't do dark super heroes. you can't make a movie based on an old television series. that's never been done. every studio turned us down and we were shown the door. >> what did you do? >> it has to be liked skiekind like the previous superman franchise of the '80s, that's the suggestion. >> it had to be taken light heartedly. you poke fun and they all look down their noses at comic books and the characters and the creators. nobody had any real respect for the comic book industry back then. >> why do you think it does end up translating so well? i know you spent ten years trying to get it to the big screen and this particular one but looking back people say, well, have you a built-in audience and great story telling. what else makes a comic book
story that's told well a blockbuster almost every time? >> it is our modern day mythology. it is the ancient gods of greece, rome and egypt still exist but today they wear spandex and capes. it is the brave heros and heroins but it is primal and crosses borders and even cultures. >> how did the vision change between tim burton's production or your production and tim burton's vision versus christopher nolan's vision. >> it got darker. >> it didn't get darker but in the context of the times what tim did is revolutionary. nothing like that had been done before. he had to convince audiences to believe in gotham city and then believe michael keaton as bruce wayne could be a guy so driven, so obsessed to the point of being psychotic that he would get into a bat out if it and fight a guy like the joker. if he didn't do that, audiences would laugh at it. that was critical with the genius christopher nolan who deserves all the credit for the
batman trilogy, he is approaching it very real. he wants you to believe bruce wayne could be a real person who is traumatized on a lost horizon type journey and wants you to believe gotham city would be real in this crazy world we live in of order versus chaos and even to believe the joker could be a modern day terrorist and if you can believe that and identify with batman, the only super hero without any super powers than his humanity you're ready. >> people connect to batman in a way they don't connect to superman at least in this generation. without all the fancy stuff, why do people too he will so connected to him? >> it is the fact he has no super powers. he represents the best of what we could all be. he represents one kid who in a moment of crisis and trauma in the belief that one person can make a difference in this world sacrificed this childhood, made a vow to get the guy that did this and get the bad eyes and even if he had to walk through held for the rest of his life. >> and he also looks cooler than
superman. >> there always is a superman versus bat man. >> i made a joke i am not going to go this weekend because the tickets are sold out and they're scalping them. >> i fully understood what you meant. >> before we let you go, i have to ask you who is your favorite batman? you cannot say i love them all equally. kilmer, keaton, clooney, bail. >> the right question is who is your favorite bruce wayne. >> okay. >> christian bale nails it for every generation no matter what material you grew up reading or seeing. >> michael is the film producer of the dark knight rises. nice to have you with us. looking forward to seeing the move zi can you get us free tickets. >> hook a girl up, come on. >> still ahead this morning going to be talking to the mayor of philadelphia.
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want to start with this videotape we have been taking a look at. it shows a little girl, ten years old, walking down the street with her brother how is a toddler right there and you see a man come up behind her and literally grab her and try to abduct her. can you tell me where this happened and what do we know about -- this is just utterly shocking. they wrestle for a minute. her little brother screams and i guess that makes him run off and leave the girl. tell me about this videotape we're looking at, sir. >> thanks, soledad. we released that tape yesterday. that was taken from both a residential and business properties and we were able to put that together, great work by the philadelphia police department. it is chilling. it shows an individual really, soledad, just a total creep who has grabbed this young lady, her little brother, she credits with screaming so loud as to scare this individual off.
i offered yesterday a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of this person. we need to get this guy off the streets of philadelphia as quickly as possible and we're just fortunate that nothing worse happened to this young lady or her little brother. we're working this case. we're going to get this individual, this real skum off the streets of philadelphia. >> i know you were able to post this to youtube immediately and hopefully you will get leads from that. talk a little bit about your report. it looks that the economic output of is it hes and you point out some things, gas is going to fall, to $3.11 in 2012 and 1% job growth and 2% gdp growth by 2013 and unemployment will fall to 8% by 2013. it is described in this report as steady progress. do you think that this, does this read to you as a positive report? >> overall i think the outlook over the course of the next year
or so is relatively positive. when you think about the 28 straight months of job growth in the united states of america, 4.4 million jobs having been t america, 4.4 million jobs having been created, the future does certainly look a little better than the past has been looking for many of our cities and metro areas all across the united states of america. i think the big issue with the report is what many of us as mayors have been saying and certainly on behalf of the u.s. conference of mayors is that cities in metro areas are the economy of the united states of america. and whether it's 90% of the gross domestic product, nearly 90% of the jobs, 85% of the population, cities are where the talent is. it's where innovation is taking place. our cities and metro areas are incubators of innovation. and that all leads to the need for greater investment by the federal government and certainly our states in cities and metro
areas. we need to emphasize transportation and infrastructure investments. we have a special section on the chemical industry and its impact on the united states of america. so if we continue to invest, we could get rid of some of the gridlock that's taking place in washington, especially unfortunately i have to say with many of our republicans in the congress. we can actually get philadelphians, for me, and pennsylvanians, americans, back to work. and that really is the job of the federal government, to make those investments, make those tough decisions, and let's move on. >> if cities are the nation, if that's the metaphor, then what do we have, the fourth american city that's declared bankruptcy now? doesn't that metaphor kind of follow that the economy is doing badly and that bodes poorly for the presidency, which is president obama? >> soledad, i would suggest that -- there are certainly some very unique situations that have led to, you know, a couple of those instances.
but, again, when you look at the report and great work by ihs, it tells you that the future of many of our cities and metro areas is more optimistic than it has been in the past. but we need investment. we need support. and that's why the gridlock in washington is really not helping. many of those cities and metro areas. unfortunately, we do have some anomalies in a couple of places. but if you look at this report, it's very solid, very well researched, and it is telling us that the future is certainly better than it has been over the past couple of years. we're on our way back, as cities and metro areas. and we are the economy of the united states of america. we need to continue those investments and do even more. >> michael nutter is the mayor of philadelphia. thanks for joining us this morning, sir. we appreciate it. >> thanks, soledad. >> we'll be back after a short break. man: there's a cattle guard, take a right.
ahead this morning on "starting point," george zimmerman in his first tv interview talks about the night he shot and killed trayvon martin and why he says it was all god's plan. reaction from trayvon martin's parents as well. plus, a two-year fight over a mosque in murphysboro, tennessee, comes to a head in federal court just in time for the start of ramadan. and head coach rex ryan will join us. you're watching "starting point." all freshly steamed in just minutes. steam bags from lean cuisine. be culinary chic. constipated? phillips' caplets use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps.
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welcome, everybody. our "starting point" this morning, george zimmerman in his own words. >> i feel that it was all god's plan. and for me to second guess it or judge it -- >> in his first television interview, george zimmerman walks through his version of what happened the night he killed trayvon martin. why he says it's all god's plan. and he gets some reaction from trayvon martin's parents. is the syrian regime on the verge of collapse? new fighting this morning in damascus the day after a bombing killed at least three of president assad's inner circle. we'll sit down with former syrian general hashim, who says that assad's days are numbered. broiling heat, wilting crops could send grocery prices
skyrocketing. we're live from the drought zone in indiana this morning. and quarterbacks mark sanchez and tim tebow could be fighting it out at the nfl training camp. the man behind their fate this season is jets head coach rex ryan. he'll join us live straight ahead. it's thursday, july 19. and "starting point" begins right now. ♪ >> it is pandering, but i like it. i like it. "hola soledad." i feel like we don't play that enough. can we make that happen every day? hang on. the best part is coming. ♪ hola, soledad >> our team this morning, margaret hoover. mark lamont hill, professor at columbia university. i thought political science, but you said anthropology and history. >> i study politics. the culture of politics. >> will cain, columnist for
theblaze.com. >> i study pandering. speaking of that -- >> you could do more of that. >> are you wearing jets green? purposefully? >> yes, i am. yes, i am. i guess. >> i see. >> i'm definitely wearing green, and rex ryan is coming in to talk to us. so sure, why not? our "starting point" this morning, did you guys watch this last night, george zimmerman's interview telling his side of the story to camera for the very first time since the night he shot and killed trayvon martin? interesting interview. he said what happened that night was all god's plan. earlier i spoke with trayvon martin's parents, sybrina fulton and tracy martin, with their attorney, ben crump. here's what they had to say. >> sabrina, i'm going to start with you if i can. i know you had a chance to watch this interview. what did you think of what george zimmerman was saying? >> my first thought was that i wish that trayvon was here to tell his side of the story because it's just -- we're just hearing one side of what actually happened. >> tracy, what do you think --
you walk through numerous descriptions. he walked through obviously his side of the story of the pursuit, which he said he was not running after him. he walked through the struggle with the gun. if you could have asked him a question, what do you want to know? what would you have liked him to describe in more detail? >> i just would like to know why did he even get out the car? why was my son so suspicious? what made him rush to judge my son and thinking that he was a criminal or pursuing some -- a burglary? >> the pursuit, i think, is going to be -- and correct me if i'm wrong, mr. crump, a big focus in this court case because -- and sean hannity asked him a detailed question about the pursuing and was he running after trayvon. listen. >> maybe running, but more --
>> you said he was running? >> yes, like skipping, going away quickly. but he wasn't running out of fear. >> you can tell the difference? >> he wasn't running. he wasn't -- >> so he wasn't actually running? >> no, sir. about. >> -- >> but that's what you said to dispatcher. we can hear the unbuckling of the seat belt. hear you opening a car door. and the dispatch asking you at that point, and this is a key moment that everyone in the media focused on, and the dispatcher asked you, are you following him, and you said yes. explain that. >> i meant that i was going in the same direction as him to keep an eye on him so that i could tell the police where he was going. i didn't mean that i was actually pursuing him. >> he said he was running, but says in this interview he wasn't running. he said yes to the dispatcher when he asked about following him but now says i wasn't really following him.
when you look at a strategy, when this comes to the courtroom, and the courthouse, how do you plan on using this chunk of the interview? >> well, soledad, the state attorney is going to see this interview as a gift when they get ready to cross-examine george zimmerman. we have a term that is latin for the thing speaks for itself. just objective evidence, use your own ears, america can listen to those 911 tapes on their own. and they hear him pursuing trayvon. they hear the wind whistling. and they hear him say that he's pursuing -- he's following trayvon martin. pursuit is so crucial in this case because it kills his stand your ground defense. he profiled, confronted, and shot trayvon martin in the heart. and said he doesn't regret anything. >> and you heard from mark o'marra, the attorney, i think saying a similar thing that
you're saying, which is that the stand your ground defense might be something he's not focusing on, and it will actually probably be self-defense. how do you think that changes this case? >> well, remember, we believe that george zimmerman one hour after he killed trayvon martin had to write in that statement he was looking for street signs because he can't say he pursued trayvon and then say stand your ground. and remember, soledad, this is so important for america to remember, we heard that 911 tape. i don't think he realized that we were going to hear that tape or he wouldn't have put that the only reason he got out the car was to check the street sign because we heard him say, oh, he said explicit word, he is getting away. and then you hear the wind whistling, and that's when he said he is following him. it speaks for itself. >> part of what he said was it was god's will. i'm curious, sabrina, what that is like to hear.
>> i think it's absolutely ridiculous. >> tracy, i'm going to ask you the last question, if i can. he says that he would be willing to talk to you and to sabrina as well. would have you any interest in that at all? >> absolutely not. not at this time. we are talking about a man who regrets the fact that he took our child's life. my conversation for him would be very limited. >> i thought that was an interesting interview because you always have to wonder like what's the risk? you're going to trial. and obviously it's a friendly interview. there were not a lot of hard balls in that interview at all. >> why are you laughing? >> because it wasn't even an interview. >> i'm understanding that. >> yeah. it was an infomercial for george zimmerman, and he is still bombing. >> you think it was a bombing? >> yeah. >> why? >> because all you walked away with was more questions and more inconsistencies that were identified based on what zimmerman said. >> what was his biggest bomb?
>> he wasn't compelling. i walked away thinking that he saw trayvon martin as a threat unnecessarily. he played to the cheap seats. >> if you came in thinking that trayvon martin was the aggressor, you left still thinking that. >> that's a small number of people. >> one of the take aways i had from the interview, and mark and i discussed this earlier, there seems to be remarkable consistency in george zimmerman's demeanor. he always seems to be somewhat meek whenever he is talking to someone, whether it's sean hannity or the police. mark, you said at least you think there's a consistency in his presentation. >> i still think it's a performance. in court, everyone looks meek and humble. and now he is in front of sean hannity, who appears to be a sympathizer in this interview. and of course he's going to keep that performance consistent. >> that's an interesting point too. because if you remember in court at the bond hearing, and then later he had to be returned back
to jail, right, because of the taped conversation said from jail where they realized that there was money, and some of the testimony that he was giving to the judge then about the money, which was inconsistent, led him back to jail. same demeanor. >> i don't know what it tells us, but i just find it interesting. always seems to be the same guy. >> i don't think it tells you anything. >> if you are accused of murder, don't you want to have a meek disposition to get sim pathy? >> it doesn't tell me anything. i was disappointed with the interview. i think you have to push harder, ask the tough questions. there's an inconsistency between running and not running, and following and not following. and there was no pushback. for me, it just raises more questions. >> i think we'll have lots of time as the trial unfolds to get to some of the questions. but first, christine romans has the top stories. >> breaking news. 37 people have drowned and more than 100 more are feared dead after a ferry with nearly 300 people onboard sank. about 150 people were rescued,
but police say there's not much hope for the passengers missing. there were 31 children onboard. there were tourists onboard too. rough weather and fierce waives are hampering rescue efforts and may be to blame for the tragedy. one day after three top officials were killed, we still haven't seen or heard from syrian president bashir al assad. rebel forces continuing their assault on damascus overnight, vowing to liberate the capital. meanwhile, the u.n. security council votes later this morning on a new syria resolution that threatening nonmilitary sanctions against assad's regime if he doesn't withdraw troops and heavy weapons from populated areas within 10 days. russia is expected to once again block the measure. in just a few minutes, soledad will sit down with former general akil hashim. earlier today, an israeli air force plane picked up
injured civilians taking them to hospitals across israel. bulgarian officials now relea releasing security footage of the suspected suicide bomber an hour before the attack. they say the have the bomber's fingerprints and recovered what the fbi is calling a fake i.d. from the state of michigan. philadelphia police searching for a predator this morning. take a look at this surveillance video of a 10-year-old girl narrowly escaping an attempted abduction. this happened tuesday afternoon. a man in a white car following this girl as she walks down the street with her 2-year-old little brother. the suspect sneaks up, attempts to snatch her, but her brother's screams may have scared the attacker off. suddenly, he drove off. there's a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. mayor nutter calls him a creep and a scum and says they will get him off philadelphia streets. an fbi dive team joining the investigation into the disappearance of two young girls in iowa. 8-year-old elizabeth collins and 10-year-old cousin lyric cook were last seen at their grandmother's house last friday.
authorities have been draining a nearby lake where the girls' bicycles were found. search dogs picked up their scent just to that point. one of the girls' mothers believes they may have been abducted. a natural judge siding with muslims in murphysboro allowing the congregation to worship at the mosque in time for ramadan, which begins tonight at sundown. construction of the mosque has been a real issue of contention for the past couple of years. i know you did a documentary on it, but they will be allowed in for the start of ramadan. >> it will interesting to follow how that goes in the community. obviously, it's been a big debate for a couple of years now. still ahead on "starting point" as we have been talking about, syria on the brink this morning. assassinations and rebels closing in. worries about loose chemical weapons. we'll talk to a retired syrian general who said he knew the men who were killed in the bombing
yesterday. and they are already in the get real hall of fame. remember those viral videos from the las vegas conference that cost $800,000 that was the gsa spending our taxpayer money wisely? guess what, there's more. we'll update you on the ridiculous stuff they are spending the money on now. here's margaret's play list. you can watch our entire play list or check it out on our website, cnn/startingpoint. back in a moment. ng away ! where is it ? it's gone. we'll find it. any day can be an adventure. that's why we got a subaru. love wherever the road takes you. wow, there it is.
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here is defense secretary leon panetta talking about what was going on. >> the violence there has only gotten worse and the loss of lives has only increased. which tells us that this is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control. >> akill hashim is a retired brigadier general who knew the men who were killed yesterday. thank you for joining us. tell us about the men that were killed. >> first of all, the old of the one was the deputy chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. and then the chairman of the joint chief of staff. and then the defense minister for years and years. and now here is the head of that committee, they called it the administration of the crisis committee. >> so dealing very hands-on with the rebels. >> yes, high-ranked officials, like head of the intelligence agencies and -- >> inner circle.
>> inner circle. very inner circle. and i know them very well. we served in the same ninth division for years and years together. and of course i know the rest. defense minister, who was among my students when i was a professor in the military academy. and also the brother-in-law of the president also was among my students. so i know them very well. it's a big hit. this is a big blow for the regime, and a big boost for the revolution. >> general, for the rebels to have gained access to this really important inner circle you just described, would that have required turn coats within the regime? would that have required the rebels to have coordination within the assad regime? >> first of all, there is hundreds and hundreds of high-rank officers and people in the agencies, in the armed forces, who are cooperating with the revolution right now.
i like, soledad, to put all these people fighting in the regime under one name, the freedom fighters, which the fsa, you know, is just like 25% of that number, and the rest are civilians, volunteering to fight this regime. so there is so many people inside the inner circle, and inside all of these forces of the regime, that are cooperating with the freedom fighters. sending information about all movement. one of these people, who was the one responsible to put that blast in that room yesterday morning. >> do you think that given this level of coordination that you're suggesting there is a possibility for a military coup? >> there is a possibility for everything. i just said it yesterday. >> is it likely? >> it is open to all possibilities. first of all, this president might flee the country today or tomorrow. he might be assassinated.
he might be subject to military coup even from his own brother. it might be like a huge number of high-rank officials defecting from the regime right now or in the next few days. but these defections from the regime i don't consider it as a politically motivated defections rather than jumping out of the sinking ship of the regime. >> so you describe it as a sinking ship. but at the same time, if we were to show a camera on homs, you would see that the government forces are battering that city, that the people there are under siege. so it doesn't seem as if at least immediately that there has been this pullback, but that the fight still goes on. many people have described this assassination as a turning point. is it really do you think? >> actually, i believe it is the beginning of the end more than a turning point. the problem is, if i have time, that we have a very stalled situation in syria.
we have a regime whom i know very well will not stop killing people forever and ever. never stop killing people. no matter what. and on the other side, there is the people, the syrian people, decided to fight this regime. also forever and forever. and they don't care about sacrifices. they already sacrificed hundreds of thousands of people so far in this fight. so how can we change the situation if the regime will continue killing people, and the people will continue fighting the regime? this is what i was calling for months and months that it must have -- we need international military intervention, even without the security council resolution. but unfortunately, unfortunately, unfortunately, this intervention cannot be happening without the participation and the leadership of the united states. and mr. obama unfortunately, whom i voted for him in 2008,
and i volunteered in his campaign, he doesn't care about the syrian people. he cares right now about one thing. re-election. that's it. so we get people getting kill saed every day by the hundreds. yesterday 200. the day before more than that. and nobody is moving to intervene. >> can it be the beginning of the end if there is not intervention by the snunited states? can in fact assad leave or be run out or a coup without the intervention of a super power? >> any dramatic event can change the whole situation. like for example, as an act of revenge, if the regime committed a huge massacre, like what happened in bosnia, like 2,000, 3,000 people get killed by air bombing for example, this would move the whole international committee and force the international community to
intervene in syria. i said it repeatedly. the international intervention will happen in syria sooner or later. but unfortunately not before another 15,000 or 20,000 people get killed. i can give you numbers. i receive every single day from inside syria over 2,500 messages. and notifications and phone calls from all the factions fighting in syria right now, civilians and military. i know for sure these numbers. there is so far almost around 25,000 people, we know them by name, one by one, have been killed so far. and double this number, missing people. most of them we believe are already killed or maybe all of them and dumped somewhere in a mass grave. so there is 3 million people refugees inside syria and the rest outside syria.
people have left homes, left property. syria is like a war zone. i see homs and other cities in syria very similar to the european cities during world war ii. and this regime is going to continue to kill people. so it has to be the international community that has to step up to this crisis and intervene in syria. >> hakil hashem, we appreciate you talking to us. we'll keep following this story. we have to take a break, but ahead on "starting point," who could ever forget the gsa, the government agency that spent $800,000 on that lavish vegas conference? now they are racking up a tab to improve their cooking skills. it's our get real, and it's up next. we're back in a moment. ♪
welcome back to "starting point." our "get real" this morning, first there were the viral videos from that vegas conference that didn't bode well. $800,000 in taxpayer money for a big party, a conference, that was thrown by the gsa, the government services administration. they are in charge of government spending and controlling it. anyway, more questionable spending to talk about this morning. cnn's special investigation uncovered federal employees at the kansas city office took more than $20,000 worth of cooking classes. it was team building. you know, all the team building stuff we do here at cnn is nothing like that. i don't learn to cook at the end. they hired an etiquette instructor to teach them how to eat properly what they made. they learned the place settings. learned how to deal with courses
when they are served. how do you eat soup and salad? that can be tricky. what to do with your napkin when it's not on your lap. how you butter your roll. >> how do you butter your roll? >> yeah. >> how can you do serious government business if you don't know which fork to use? really. i actually don't think this is that big of a deal. honestly, i don't. i tried to be outraged by this. i love to be outraged, but this didn't do it for me. it's $20,000 over a four-year period. that's $5,000 a year. >> but cooking classes as a team building exercise? >> absolutely. if you got all four of us together once a week and took cooking classes -- this is just a suggestion -- we all got together and learned how to cook, learned etiquette, that would be important team building. >> did you just say if you got all four of us together if we learned how to cook and etiquette -- >> yes. >> that would be worth $4,000 per session? >> no, it wasn't just four people. there were 50 people there sometimes. >> 37. >> 37 people, excuse me. so divide that per person, that's not a lot of money. >> roughly $100 a person.
>> pay your own money for your team building cooks classes. not taxpayer dollars. >> but team building allows us to administer programs better. i think it's a -- >> you think the gsa is a better organization for having had the cooking classes? >> i think of the list of things they did wrong, this isn't on it. >> isn't it look number 10? >> the gsa is dysfunctional unavoidably. >> but this isn't another manifestation of their dysfunctionality? >> no. >> i'm with you, margaret. it may not be one on the list, but it's certainly number 14. >> i'm with mark, to make it girls against boys. >> well, guess what? girls are going to commercial break. coming up, ann romney talks about her husband's tax returns. she says he has nothing to hide. and new york jets head coach rex ryan is here. "starting point" will continue.
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and welcome back to "starting point." the jobless numbers are just in. let's get the details. christine romans has that. >> 386,000 new unemployment claims filed. that's much more than expected. 386,000 people that means going and applying for unemployment benefits for the first time last week. and the last week was revised higher. not a big surprise, because that showed claims at a four-year low. those numbers were affected by seasonal distortions. it was the fourth of july week. more than 60% of the u.s. now suffering from heavy drought conditions that are showing no signs of letting up. 1/3 of the count ohies in the united states are now listed as disaster areas, threatening to drive up food and fuel prices. rob marciano is live in
indianapolis, right there in the heart of the drought. >> you mentioned food prices. of course, corn and beans that goes on your table. but that also goes to feed livestock. cattle, pigs, dairy farms, and that's where we are right now. huge dairy farm, 500 heads of cattle here. just south of indianapolis. a couple of them down there feeding. this is the pen that they are in before they go to milk. might see some of that video there. high-tech stuff. there's no hand milking anymore. they can pump out about 20, 30 pounds of milk in as little as five minutes. and they do that three times a day. unbelievable. but they don't like heat. so they've got sprinkler systems and fans in this pen to try to keep them cool. ideal temperature is actually 50 degrees. production goes way down when temperatures hit 90 or 100 degrees like they have the past couple of days. on top of that, the feed that they eat, the quality of that goes down, with the heat and the drought.
so two-fold problem here across the dairy country of central indiana. a little bit of rain coming later on today, but it may be at least for the corn crop a little bit too little, too late. but they'll take anything they can get, as this historic drought continues across the corn belt. christine? >> thank you, rob. meantime, president obama hitting the campaign trail for a two-day road trip that kicks off this afternoon in jacksonville and west palm beach, florida. mitt romney is in boston for a fundraiser. and a new poll shows that the race for the white house couldn't be closer. romney with 47% of the vote, the president one point back, a statistical dead heat. and one in five voters saying they could change their mind before november. romney's money and his days at bain capital are not a problem for a majority of voters. 73% say his wealth is not a factor, and 60% say his days at bain will not change their vote. john boehner raising his volume on the attacks on president obama, the house
speaker appearing angry when asked about the need for mitt romney to release more tax records. he calls it a side show orchestrated by democrats. >> and i think the president's attack on the private sector in america is exactly what's wrong with this administration. he doesn't give a damn about middle class americans who are out there looking for work. what he's trying to do is distract the american people in order to win the re-election. >> ann romney saying that mitt has nothing to hide. she addressed the controversy over releasing more tax returns in an interview with abc news. >> you know, you should really look at where mitt has led his life and where he's been financially. he is a very generous person. we give 10% of our income to our church every year. do you think that is the kind of person that is trying to hide things or do things? no. he is so good about it. then when he was governor of massachusetts, he didn't take a salary. >> ann romney also talked about a potential vp pick, saying we're not quite there.
but will be soon. if you live in washington state and have not registered to vote, you can log onto facebook to do it starting next week. washington state, the first to team up with the social networking site to launch a new app to let you register via facebook. it's expected to go live sometime next week. soledad? >> all right, christine. thank you. we are arguing over one of your stories talking about mitt romney and the taxes, as you can see a heated debate right here on the panel. "starting point" this morning, the lean, mean head coach of gangrene, rex ryan, he is 105 pounds lighter to jets training camp this year. he is walking in to talk to us. nice to see him. here is his play list. and he likes a little jimmy buffet. nice to see you. welcome, welcome. pencil thin mustache. you're watching "starting point." ♪ happy endings ♪ where nobody fights ♪ so if you find yourself in that nostalgic rage ♪
>>what? >>sorry. he wants you to know about priceline's new express deals. it's a faster way to get a great hotel deal without bidding. pick one with a pool, a gym, a great guest rating. >>and save big. >>thanks negotiator. wherever you are. ya, no. he's over here. >>in the refrigerator? [romney singing]: oh beautiful, for spacious skies, i'm barack obama and i approve this message. for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plain, america, america, god shed his grace on thee, and crowned thy good, with brotherhood...
♪ changed like the weather ♪ but a legend never dies >> that song, "last mango in paris," off of new york jets head coach rex ryan's play list. rex ryan with us this morning. we've been talking about your weight all morning, but can we start with what i love? tim tebow. >> tebow. >> 105-pound weight loss. 8-8 last season. >> right. that was a little disappointing, that 8-8 season. >> and you had promised you were going to win. >> i always make that promise because i believe it. >> are you making it again?
>> you know what? it's funny because i just thought that the pressure if anything was always going to be on me. it wasn't going to on our players and things. but when i made that prediction, i guarantee that i think it came on more than just me. it came on our players as well. and that wasn't what i wanted to do. >> are you going to do it began this year? >> i'm staying away from the prediction business. >> coach, listen, when you were coming on, i think i had 15 questions submitted from all of these guys just around here working. and here's one of them. so you said in december when you played the giants whoever wins gets brags rights for four years. giants won. they have bragging rights for four years? >> they do. we don't have a chance to play them again, and they beat us. so absolutely. the fact that they won the super bowl would give them bragging rights. >> four years is a long time. >> well, it is. but they earned that victory. so absolutely. >> how is tim tebow doing? >> i'm going to make a drinking
game. whenever you bring up tim tebow, take a shot. >> raise your hand if you want to know about tim tebow. thank you. if it fits, i'll bring it up, yes. so how is that going? >> i think he's going to be great. >> really? >> absolutely. obviously, mark is our starting quarterback without question. we feel great about him. we drafted mark. you know, we came in together. and he's won a lot of games. when you look at it, you know, 28-20, i think, regular season record. 4-2 in the playoffs. we added tim tebow to our football team. you know, tim was 8-3 as a starter in the regular season. 1-1 in the playoffs. anytime you get two young quarterbacks with those kind of resumes, that helps you. but we have a clear starting quarterback in mark sanchez. we also have a great player, i don't care what you want to give him, number two quarterback, number 15, whatever you want to call him. >> does he have any shot at
winning the starting spot? can he outplay mark sanchez in camp and win the starting role? >> well, mark sanchez is our starting quarterback, and that's a given. when you look at how he's played, he deserves to be our starting quarterback. did he have a great season last year? no. none of us did. you know, we talked about it, the 8-8 record. the way people talk about us you would think we won two games. but the fact that we were one game away -- >> well -- >> well, that's true. and our expectations should be that way. has that changed since i got here? i think so. we expect to win. and that's the way it is. but tim tebow is going to be a huge part of what we do. >> new york is excited to have him, i'll tell you that. >> they should be. >> yes, we are. >> before we talk about your weight loss, i want to talk about darrelle revis. what happens with him moneywise? >> the great thing about being the head coach, and the head coach only -- >> a nonanswer is about to follow. >> i just coach the team. and i just get to coach the
players. luckily, we have a general manager that worries about all of that stuff. >> if he goes -- >> you had lap band surgery and lost 105 pounds. you were telling us about it. you actually went to italy. you knew you were going to eat a little bit more. the doctors loosened the band, and when you got back tightened the band. and this helps you control your weight over a long period of time. >> if you do go to italy or something, and i actually went to paris, but they have like 11-course meals or whatever that thing is. but literally, that's how easy this band is. like you can -- it's as simple as the more liquid you put in, the tighter the band. it's been terrific. >> how much did you weigh at your highest? >> 348 pounds. >> wow. >> what was a typical meal for you? >> well, i would probably go fast food. and if i went to a fast food restaurant, let's just say this is no lie. i would go for like two burgers,
the french fries, you know, the pop or soda, whatever to drink. the 20 little chicken things. and then maybe on top of that a little cheeseburger just to whet the palate. but that would be it. [ laughter ] >> and now if i go and have one cheeseburger, that's saying something. >> so it's changed your eating habits. it's not just the lap band. >> absolutely. >> and you exercise too, right? >> i do exercise. but initially at first, i never felt like doing anything. so i didn't. i just let the lap band work. and basically, the lap band teaches you to eat like a human. and that's really what i did. and then it was just as simple as starting to walk. and that was basically it. it started out that way slowly and all that. the more weight you lose, the better you feel. obviously, right now, you drop 100 pounds off anybody, i think you're going to feel like you can go. and like you can run. and that's basically how i feel now. like i'm at that stage where i'm
going to get back to running. and all those things. you know, i'm not killing it in the weight room. that's humbling. i used to do this. now i'm doing this. but, you know, i am feeling so good about where i'm at, and how i feel, that, yes, i will increase the exercise. but i think it -- when i hit kind of a plateau, that was basically what was missing. i needed to start to exercise, and i started to do that. and all of a sudden, the bottom fell out. but this lap band, for anybody, you know, macho guy, i'm not going to do anything like this, i'll do it the right way through diet and exercise, that's great. fantastic. you know, knock yourself out. i did that 100 times. i would lose the weight. gain it back. and for some reason, i don't know why, but you always gain more than that. and it just hatppened over and over. it's a common cycle that happens to more really obese people. and that's what happens. >> well, you look amazing. and we're looking forward to tim tebow and the jets. i am. rex ryan.
>> there are two quarterbacks, you know. >> thank you for being with us. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> if you need people to cheer lead for tim tebow, we are here to help you out. >> there you go. meet the man who is racing a 60-feet speed yacht across the world, entirely on his own. no sleeping quarters, no bathroom, no kitchen. we'll look at how he does it. that's up next on "starting point." upeople's lives? as a police chief, i have an opportunity to affect what happens in a major city. if you want to make a difference, you have to have the right education. university of phoenix opened the door. my name is james craig, i am committed to making a difference, and i am a phoenix. visit phoenix.edu to find the program that's right for you. enroll now. i bought the car because of its efficiency.
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it was harder than walking the halls here, extreme hall walking. but imagine not having any human contact for three whole months. imagine having to sail a 60-foot yacht all by yourself, not sleep more than 20, 40 minutes. the bathroom is a bucket. you can't eat any real food. this man, alex thompson, one of the most daring and i might say dashing men i have ever met. take a look. >> reporter: it takes an unusual sort of person to stand all alone on the teetering keel of a giant yacht racing through the open seas. but then alex thompson is admittedly an unusual sort of guy. >> i'm a single-handed round the world sailor. >> what does that mean? >> it means i take a boat like this, and i start races which start somewhere in europe, generally in france, and come out of france, hang a left, left
to africa, around antarctica, left at america, back to france again, no stopping. when you put it in perspective, something like 3,000 people have now climbed mt. everest. more than 500 people have been in outer space. but less than 100 people have sailed single-handed nonstop around the world. >> reporter: the keel walking and youtube sensation is just a hobby for alex. the 38-year-old brit is gearing up for the premiere solo round the world yacht race which takes place every four years. it's his third try. the first two, he didn't finish. >> i think you have to be a certain type of person. you know, when you're out there on your own, in the ocean, where i'm going to spend five weeks in probably wind-chill factors of minus 20, there's no one to help you, and your brain is telling you you're going to die. you have to be able to control that emotion. you have to be able to sleep, eat, do your jobs and sail the boat. and that takes some mental
strength or some mental instability. >> and it is so hard to pilot one of these boats by yourself. but alex is amazing. he has a psychologist helping him whenever he is on land to get him through the difficult times. >> what motivates him? and by the way, he is very dashing. >> he said he didn't try it until late in life. he didn't race until he was 21 years old, but when he started he would run to the boat every day. he loves it. >> what are his chances of winning? >> no brit has ever won. it's always a frenchman. he's tried twice already and failed. one time came very close to death. >> you are live blogging. and viewers can ask you anything. >> ask me anything. i expect some good questions. so we'll be there to do that at noon. >> john, thank you. interesting piece there. "end point" is next. we're back in a moment.
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he talked about not having any money with humility. he said he didn't have any source of income with humility. i don't care that he's quiet or docile. to me, he say killer. >> the bigger question, what's the bigger impact on the trial? we have to take a break. tomorrow, we'll talk to three olympic stars chasing the gold in london this summer. maya moore, chris paul, and carmelo anthony. that's tomorrow. time for "cnn newsroom" with carol costello right now. happening now in the newsroom, terror ties to america. a bus bomber with a fake i.d. from michigan. new video of the suspect and new details on this brazen attack in bulgaria. justice antonin scalia one-on-one with our piers morgan. bush versus gore, the power of the super pacs, and burning the american flag. >> speech doesn't just mean written words or oral words. burning a flag is a symbol that expresses an idea.
i hate the government. >> a rare interview on his interpretation of the constitution. it is a cnn exclusive. eye in the sky. drones over your neighborhood. new concerns this hour as congress starts asking questions. is this big brother or a necessary tool for police? social storm. chick-fil-a's president causing an uproar after his comments on gay marriage, saying he is, quote, guilty as charged when asked about his company's support of the traditional family. the biblical definition. the postings this morning on facebook and twitter blowing up both for and against chick-fil-a. plus, this. >> the nominations are in. now the question is, did your favorite show get the nod? i'm nischelle turner live from the 64th annual primetime emmy nominations. "cnn newsroom" begins right now.